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Thread: Chickens..

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Chickens..

    Hey Guys and Gals!

    My wife and I decided to get some chicks this year, and are having an absolute blast.

    I figured there had to be at least a couple hen lovers on the ole Boolits, so maybe someone can help.

    One of our Amber Links has been limping pretty badly, but shes only a week old or so. In doing research, my wife things its either Spraddle Leg, a Slipped Tendon, or Rickets.

    She will get up and hop, putting a little weight on it, but she flaps while she runs. She will stand to eat and then sit in the feeder. She's getting to both the food and water, and I've been dipping her beak to make sure she drinks when I handle them in the evenings.

    We are going to get a liquid multivitamin for her but is there anything else we can do?
    Last edited by Arisaka99; 04-10-2019 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Spelling and revision
    Chris



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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy pete501's Avatar
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    Chickens are great if you need an excuse for not going on vacation. We have had chickens for years now. Are flock numbers about 35 hens. It all started with a "Free Chicken" sign. The neighbor giving them had a dog that was pestering them was the reason he was giving them away. You will have to have a chicken house and lock them up every night, let them out every morning, collect eggs every afternoon and have a fenced area with protection from aerial attacks from raptors.

    Every year the feed store "gives" 5 free pullets with a purchase of a sack of feed. Its like the drug dealer giving you the first taste for free. You are on the hook for feed, watering cans, feed buckets, heat lamps etc.

    Raising 15 is as easy as raising 5 so we get 15 chicks each spring. Then after feeding them for 6 months some of the pullets have turned into cockerels. Rooster noodle soup is not all that good as most meat chickens are butchered at 12 weeks. Oh yeah, we did do meat birds one year. Never again.

    Eggs are great but now with production exceeding 18 per day the fridge is filling with egg cartons. Our egg buyers have slacked off a bit. I've run an add on Craigslist with no response. There are 20 other adds for eggs, most selling them for $3 per dozen, then I see that Natural Grocers is selling free range eggs for $1.99 per dozen.

    With 30+ chickens they make a lot of manure. Living in the Pacific North West the rain here makes the chicken yard a mess. "That ain't Mud" you are walking in. Smell, I guess you get used to it. We are lucky we have a neighbor that wants the manure for his compost bins.

    My suggestion to the urban chicken farmer is to get out NOW.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Growing up my Daddy always kept a flock of chickens ... Sold the fresh eggs and when a hen didn't lay any longer..Sunday Dinner . My job was to feed them and gather eggs and catch the Sunday Dinners . Dad didn't spend any time or money on feeble , injured or disabled chicks... He always had a hen or two setting on a clutch ...replacements were cheaper than vet bill or medicine .
    Wouldn't it still be cheaper to buy another chick ? Local Feed and seed store sells them for $1.00 .

    I hate chickens...they are the dumbest critters on Earth...IQ of a rock !
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man Pigboat's Avatar
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    If you don't already have a house I would suggest googling "chicken tractors". You can move them around so you don't wind up with one area ankle deep in chicken.....manure.

  5. #5
    Had a couple for a few years, then went to the darkside…. DUCKS! Ducks are nicer to the kids.

    You didn't really say what her legs are doing, other than she really doesn't like to use it. Identifying Rickets at such a young age can be a bit challenging, but your best bet is to feel the beak. If it is kind of soft and rubbery, vice hard, its probably Rickets. This is a vitamin deficiency.

    So Spraddle causes both legs to splay, and Perosis (slipped tendon) is only one leg splays. Spraddle/Perosis correction usually involved a bracing the legs to each other using VetWrap or Coban, and a vitamin supplement. Also all three of those can be caused my a vitamin deficiency. Are you putting trace minerals in the water?

    If shes limping and trying to use both legs and they seem to function normally, it could just be a foot injury. Especially if you have quite a few chicks and she ended up at the bottom of a dog.... *ahem* chick pile, at some point.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master corbinace's Avatar
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    As much fun as I have had with my chickens, Guineas, Peafowl, Pheasants and Turkeys the last 30 years, I have to agree with pete501. The last two of our free range chickens died just about a week ago. Kind of lonesome seeing the empty coop. Now I am going to convert it to a tractor barn though.

    Not a lot of upside to investing in one chick in my mind. Isolate if you think it is contagious and if not just let nature take it's course. I have been surprised by quite a few getting better on their own.

    Lots of fun watching them race to and fro flapping as they go.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    Are you feeding a chick starter feed. Low Protein in the diet will cause leg problems.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pigboat View Post
    If you don't already have a house I would suggest googling "chicken tractors". You can move them around so you don't wind up with one area ankle deep in chicken.....manure.
    We're looking at building a tractor. They won't be free range, so need to have something with a run so the critters won't get them.
    Chris



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  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adventure Fish View Post
    Had a couple for a few years, then went to the darkside…. DUCKS! Ducks are nicer to the kids.

    You didn't really say what her legs are doing, other than she really doesn't like to use it. Identifying Rickets at such a young age can be a bit challenging, but your best bet is to feel the beak. If it is kind of soft and rubbery, vice hard, its probably Rickets. This is a vitamin deficiency.

    So Spraddle causes both legs to splay, and Perosis (slipped tendon) is only one leg splays. Spraddle/Perosis correction usually involved a bracing the legs to each other using VetWrap or Coban, and a vitamin supplement. Also all three of those can be caused my a vitamin deficiency. Are you putting trace minerals in the water?

    If shes limping and trying to use both legs and they seem to function normally, it could just be a foot injury. Especially if you have quite a few chicks and she ended up at the bottom of a dog.... *ahem* chick pile, at some point.
    I love ducks.. Haha We were going to get 3 ducks with our chicks, but I read somewhere you aren't supposed to have ducklings in with chicks, so we chose to go with chicks and ducks at a later date.

    We're on a well, so there's some mineral in the water. I haven't heard about putting minerals in the water. We're feeding Purina Medicated Chick Starter, and I have started them on Sav-A-Chick Electrolyte and probiotic. So far, she's the only injured one, and it seems to come and go. She has been self-isolating from the rest of the flock (We think because they run her over/jump on her occasionally) and just sits. She can put weight on it, but doesn't unless we make her get up to walk. Her crop has been soft, as far as I can tell. (Marble sized lump in the breast area? All have it)

    We haven't felt her beak, but will try to tonight. We got her a liquid multivitamin, but it doesn't have D or E, which it seems are the ones needed form what we've read. My wife also started giving them cooked yolk yesterday and they devoured it.
    Chris



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    "Si vis pacem para bellum"


  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjim View Post
    Are you feeding a chick starter feed. Low Protein in the diet will cause leg problems.
    Jim,

    They're on Purina Medicated Chick starter. I have Sav-A-Chick Electrolyte and Probiotic in their water. Do we need to give them anything else?
    Chris



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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    farmerjim's Avatar
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    "Do we need to give them anything else?"
    Not that I know of.
    I had hundreds of chicks, Guinea fowl, ducks, and turkeys over the years, but none lately.
    As gwpercele says, It is cheaper to just get another chick if it is just one, but these are probably still in the "pet" stage. ( they are cute )
    That will change when one of the roosters spurs you. When it happens you need to reestablish the pecking order.
    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialismóby vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. Ayn Rand

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjim View Post
    "Do we need to give them anything else?"
    Not that I know of.
    I had hundreds of chicks, Guinea fowl, ducks, and turkeys over the years, but none lately.
    As gwpercele says, It is cheaper to just get another chick if it is just one, but these are probably still in the "pet" stage. ( they are cute )
    That will change when one of the roosters spurs you. When it happens you need to reestablish the pecking order.
    I cured one of those when I was a small lad. The rooster would attack anyone who came near. I got grand dad's old double barrel out, pretty much taller than me. Spread him across the yard pretty well.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    We tried that, My daughter was into only organic feed, which translates to expensive feed. I figured the eggs were about $3 each. They will stink after a while and out of 13 birds chosen at random 7 were roosters. When they started getting noisy they got put in the freezer. Then a couple of the hens started trying to crow. It all came to an end when two momma raccoons brought their broods and killed most of the hens. I probably will not have chickens again. I set a bacon grease bait pile under the yard light and managed to pick off seven raccoons form the patio over the course of a few nights.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Coyote's, raccoons, and fox will thoroughly enjoy free range chickens.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy RGrosz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    Growing up my Daddy always kept a flock of chickens ... Sold the fresh eggs and when a hen didn't lay any longer..Sunday Dinner . My job was to feed them and gather eggs and catch the Sunday Dinners . Dad didn't spend any time or money on feeble , injured or disabled chicks... He always had a hen or two setting on a clutch ...replacements were cheaper than vet bill or medicine .
    Wouldn't it still be cheaper to buy another chick ? Local Feed and seed store sells them for $1.00 .

    I hate chickens...they are the dumbest critters on Earth...IQ of a rock !
    I had a fair amount of experience with chickens. Grandma raised chickens every year. She and Grandpa would get 300 straight runs every year.She would raise them every year, when the roosters started to crow and the combs started to grow, every night she would pick about 4 of them out for butchering the next day. They would be put into a crate until the next day. She had time to do about 4 a day.Some of the guts were put into jars for her friends for catfish bait, in return for some catfish later on. She started out with broilers and the chickens were 1/4ered. As they got bigger they were cut up into 8 pieces. They were almost all frozen, and were the basics of a lot of Sunday dinners and supers while growing up. the about 150 pullets that were left were added to her layer flock. Of the flock that numbered about 450, she'd start culling them down a few at a time and take them to Sioux City to sell. They would butcher them for stewing hens. She would keep some herself for stewing. She sold the eggs in Correctionville at the produce station my other Grandma ran. That was the money they used every Saturday for trading. Them two people lived for over 50 years on the same 1/4 section that only had 100 acres tillable and made a good living of it. I can't see anyone doing that now days. There is to much that has changed.
    She would lose a small handful of chickens every year due to sickness and some to weasels, that a #1 long spring would catch. When we had chickens we didn't have pest problems, at least not to much. A 1 1/2 coil spring took care of the stray coon. A warning shot could scare away the neighbors dog until once I didn't recognize the other neighbors dog and he didn't leave the place. He wanted me to pay for the training of his dog, when I pointed out that he wasn't well trained to be running my calves and chickens in South Dakota, and he could take me to court, but wouldn't get any money from me. He hasn't talked to me since. I haven't missed him.
    If you want to raise chickens good luck. You're tying yourself down for quite a while. As for the chicken that limps. Grandma always said. There are chickens that are live and them that aren't. There are no sick chickens.

    Rob

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    For a long time Louisiana allowed Cock Fighting, my Uncle raised some of most beautiful fighting birds I have ever seen. They had brilliant colors and strutted around like they owned the world ...they weren't mean to people but Dad's big old Red Bone hound always steered clear of the cocks .
    All that came to a screeching halt the night the Cock Pit got raided...although fighting cocks was legal....it was the betting on them that was illegal .
    My Mom and Aunt had to come bail Daddy and Uncle out , me and my brother thought it was all great excitement , the policemen gave us ice cream. Mom was...upset !!! Last Cockfght I ever attended .
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    We have some Rouen ducks that look like huge mallards. We're down to one very happy drake right now and a half dozen honeys. We let the kids take eggs into FFA class and hatch them. In a few weeks we'll have 5-6 more with hopefully another male. For some reason people are afraid of them which is funny because when they're mad at you the best they can do is attack you like a midget trying to pinch your ankles with two plastic spoons. Our drake Robert will occasionally untie your boot/shoe. Raptors will try to dive to get them, so cover their run, or place it under the canopy of a big tree. We had three red tails drifting over the yard earlier that kept looking at our ducks but couldn't get to them because of the tree. If the birds of prey aren't flying around we'll usually let them loose in the yard to eat grass and bugs.
    350 Legend, imitation is the highest form of flattery. Aww, Thanks Winchester!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Arisaka99 View Post
    I love ducks.. Haha We were going to get 3 ducks with our chicks, but I read somewhere you aren't supposed to have ducklings in with chicks, so we chose to go with chicks and ducks at a later date.

    We're on a well, so there's some mineral in the water. I haven't heard about putting minerals in the water. We're feeding Purina Medicated Chick Starter, and I have started them on Sav-A-Chick Electrolyte and probiotic. So far, she's the only injured one, and it seems to come and go. She has been self-isolating from the rest of the flock (We think because they run her over/jump on her occasionally) and just sits. She can put weight on it, but doesn't unless we make her get up to walk. Her crop has been soft, as far as I can tell. (Marble sized lump in the breast area? All have it)

    We haven't felt her beak, but will try to tonight. We got her a liquid multivitamin, but it doesn't have D or E, which it seems are the ones needed form what we've read. My wife also started giving them cooked yolk yesterday and they devoured it.
    There are many ways to go about it. We uses PolyViSol vitamins from the drug store... its a 50ml bottle, and we would use an entire squeeze (which I think was either one or two mL) per quart of the waterer, when we had a suspected vitamin issue. It has Vitamin A, C, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12. Never got the kind with iron because we too are on a well and there's plenty of that in our water already.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    A friend and his wife bought a farm and were getting "back to the land" - chickens, goats, horses, etc. One day, he saw that he was missing 3-4 of the new chicks. The next day, he was up to 5 missing, then 8, but no bodies. He wondered about raccoons/mink/ferrets and then he found the chicks - alive and unhurt (?!?!!??) under the barn hidden in a debris pile of rocks and old timber. Rat sign everywhere. Rats had been taking the chicks out of their enclosure and were storing them for snacks under the barn. He put them back in with the others and rigged his galvanized roofing panels enclosure with electric fence wire an inch or two away from it so any rats climbing up the sides would have to squeeze between the wire and the grounded galvanized panels. He got the most bodacious fence charger the feed store had, hooked it up and plugged it in. No more problems after that. . . I wanted to see some hapless rat trying to get in, but neither I nor he never caught sight of that happening. No doubt, they tried, but without success. And raccoons also, but this seems to have deterred them as well.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    I cured one of those when I was a small lad. The rooster would attack anyone who came near. I got grand dad's old double barrel out, pretty much taller than me. Spread him across the yard pretty well.
    I did too, Ric. But I thought Dad would be upset losing a rooster, so I used a broom. When he came at me I swatted him. Picked him up and slammed him againsr the back of the pen. He never bothered me again. I must have been all of five years old.
    Wayne the Shrink

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